When I reflect on Jesus’ Crucifixion, I have to wonder why it was necessary for Jesus to be treated by the Romans worse than any other criminal. What is God telling us?
It wasn’t necessary.
It is something to reflect on. God, who is all powerful and omnipotent deemed that this was the way. We should ponder the why for all our earthly lives. But we should not question the why.
My understanding is that Jesus was supposed to take on Himself the sins of all of humanity for its salvation. To do this, His suffering had to be immense and immeasurable, followed by His death. I’m sure others can explain more fully.
St Thomas Aquinas discussed various aspects of this question in his Summa Theologiae, Part III, Question 46 (The passion of Christ).
Mmm the Romans not the main culprits… the Jewish authorities had their own guard and Pilate acted out of pressure to please the crowd. The political situation was such that Jews had a lot of power in this Roman province and that continued even after Jesus, with the martyrdom of both Jameses and many others. Yet as Jesus predicted, with the destruction of the second Temple and Jerusalem in 70 AD, their power vanished suddenly and never returned.
Jesus is taking our place on the cross as a sacrificial lamb (Passover lamb sacrifice), because through our sin it should be us on the cross.
It is a tremendous measure of love and humility. In Johns account of the last supper Jesus humbles himself and washed his disciples feet as a servant. He teaches us to go and do the same. Love your neighbor as yourself.
Because our sin is just that bad. Our sin did those horrible things to Jesus.
Our sin is not some nice clean thing where Jesus could be immediately killed with little suffering and make up for it.
It didn’t have to be immense. Even the smallest of Christ’s sufferings could have atoned for all the sins of mankind. Christ suffered so much not because it was necessary in order to atone sufficiently for our sins, but to demonstrate His love for us. See Baltimore Catechism Three, Lesson Eighth, Q. 379, pg. 79.
Our Lord Jesus Christ truly wanted to show his immense love for us.
He wanted His Father to receive perfected human love. He did that through obediece that took Him to the cross. A visible display for all to see.
So did blessed John Duns SCOTUS.
" If Adam had not eaten the apple, would Jesus still have come?"
And there is an entire opinion that still remains ( not heresy) as pointed out by Balthazar.
Are you saying those who inflicted the wounds and crucified Him were not Romans? But no matter. God allowed this to happened. I was just wondering if I’m missing the full point of Jesus’ Crucifixion. Yes, He died for our sins, the whole world since Adam and Eve. Supposedly Golgotha (skull) was the burial place of Adam and Eve.
There is no answer to that question – that’s why we consider the Crucifixion a mystery (the fifth Sorrowful Mystery) and meditate on it in the Rosary,
I must say that having endured some horrible suffering myself, at that time, knowing that Jesus suffered worse, and that God himself understood what my suffering was, allowed me to offer my suffering to Jesus, to add to his, and thus join with him, I have come to have a relationship of closeness with Jesus and the Father that I understand now could not have happened otherwise.
Jesus wanted a close relationship with his father. He achieves that closeness through his suffering. He offers himself so that God’s favorite (us) can be saved. That is an act of love. Real love is sacrifice. Sacrifice is suffering.
But your question is more specific, why was Jesus treated so badly by the Romans, even worse than other criminals, and then horribly crucified.
I believe that the answer lies in what that means to you today right now. The fact that you can feel his pain, understand his suffering - it is quite graphic - means that it is present to you right now. No need to repeat, you have got it! You understand. Jesus did this for you.
The shocking crucifixion means that the suffering of Christ will never be forgotten. Forever.
I hope that in along time from now, someone who is suffering can look back on Christ’s suffering and be comforted to know that their Father understands. I hope you can too.
It is a personal belief of mine that the reason GOD chose the Romans to be the executioners of Jesus is that the Romans have a reputation throughout history of being very meticulous, organized and efficient, as well as keepers of records.
If this should have happened in other eras possibly the message could have been lost.
Also in the Prophet Daniel interpretation of the king’s dream the Roman empire is represented by Iron and they dominated the whole known world back then.
Of course we should not delude ourselves, we all killed Jesus in our sins and HE said on the cross “Forgive them Father for they do not know what they are doing”.
I’m not sure in a historical context Pilate would have blinked twice to crucifying him. The guy was pretty brutal. In fact he got sent back to Rome because of his tactics of violence and some traditions say he killed himself in exile. Others say he converted to Christianity( which is just Christian lore). No one really knows what became of him but the fact is the Gospels narrative that he was almost forced into crucifying Jesus because of the Jews is mainly a tactic so Rome would be more friendly to the movement. Pilate historically was a monster, he crucified people without a care in the world. The reality is the Jews probably brought him to Pilate and he said crucify him without thinking another second about it.
Jesus is teaching us through example. The crucifixion and death of Christ shows us the horror of sin and the proof of God’s love for us. Thus the way of the cross is the path that Jesus forged for us to follow in order to be sanctified. Jesus said “unless you pick up your cross and follow me, you cannot be my disciple”. He carried His cross to to be crucified and to die upon it to atone for our sins out of love for us.
Conversion is not about learning facts and having an intellectual enlightenment. True conversion involves a transformation of heart, a lifelong lesson in love and forgiveness. It’s one thing to be sorry for sins out of fear of Hell, it’s quite another thing to be sorry for our sins out of love for God for having offended Him.
The spectacle of the Crucified Christ and the meditation on the way of the cross is a means for us to grow in love for Jesus (God Incarnate) in order to swell up true contrition of heart and sincere sorrow for our sins out of pure love for God.
Our mind is made for Truth. Our Will is made for Goodness and Love. Since God is Truth itself, and God is Goodness and Love itself, our entire purpose and existence is to love and serve God. Thus Jesus explained that the greatest commandment is to love God with all our heart, mind, strength, and soul; and to love neighbor as we love our self.
SIN is the misuse of the intellect and the will. Thus authentic Christianity involves our way of the cross that leads to the death of our old self, through mortification (“deathification”) of our disordered passions and evil desires, in order to have a new self, that is, Jesus gives us Himself, that He may shine through us in this dark world.
SIN comes into the world through our flesh— the misuse of our mind and body. Thus The Church Militant — the members of the Body of Christ on earth, fight the daily battle in a lifelong war against attachment to the flesh, the lures of this world, and the deceptions of the devil, all of which constantly pull us away from God through the flesh.
Blood is the life of the body, and Jesus died in a bloodbath suffered in atonement for all the sins. The mockery and torture of the crowning with thorn, the piercing of His hands and feet, the cruel scourging of His sacred flesh paid an eternal price for all sins past, present and future generations of human beings. The evil things we did with our hands, the evil paths in life we walked, the hatred and unforgiveness in our heart, pride, evil thoughts, etc. all atoned for by Jesus on the cross.
The lifting up of His body upon the cross as a spectacle for all to gaze upon, was foreshadowed in the Old Testament, when God instructed Moses to make a bronze serpent to be raise high for all who were bitten by snakes would be healed:
As a judgment against the people of Israel for their sin, God sent poisonous serpents among them, and people began to die. This showed the people that they were in sin, and they came to Moses to confess and ask for God’s mercy. When Moses prayed for the people, God instructed him to make a bronze serpent and put it on a pole so the people could be healed and saved from death.
Thus in the gospel, Jesus said:
“And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to show the kind of death he was going to die.” -John 12:32-33
“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes may have eternal life in him.” -John 3:14-15
Salvation involves true repentance. Jesus on the cross is our daily reminder of our sins, and the constant need to sincerely repent out of love for God in order to be transformed, healed and saved.
The big deception today among many in the Church today is what plagued the religious people in the time of Christ; namely those who reduced the faith to following rules and learning everything there was to know about a God, yet lacked conversion of heart and had no love for neighbor. All too often lives are full of activism and religious, activities, yet unforgiveness, resentments, judgment and condemnation of others is what still reigns in the heart…
Here is a heart-piercing talk by Archbishop Fulton J Sheen that gets to the core of what it means to have a true conversion of heart. One must listen to it slowly and attentively: LINK
Back when I was a rebellious atheist, I frequently complained to God whenever I suffered any pain. And one day, God granted me a gift. Of course, at the time, I didn’t realize it.
I had been injured. I don’t remember the exact nature of the injury, but it really hurt. Having been raised Catholic, I knew that it was God’s will that man should suffer. I had also learned that God was immutable and therefore, immune to any pain. So, I complained to God. “It’s easy for you to force us to suffer and you can’t feel anything!”
Immediately, a vision of the Crucifixion flashed before my eyes.